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Home > New Zealand > 11 DAYS CLASSIC NEW ZEALAND SOUTH ISLAND JAUNT (Self Drive)

11 DAYS CLASSIC NEW ZEALAND SOUTH ISLAND JAUNT (Self Drive)

CHRISTCHURCH, KAIKOURA, FRANZ JOSEF, WANAKA, QUEENSTOWN

Outdoor & Adventure, Nature & Wildlife

Highlights

  • Chance to spot a majestic Giant Sperm Whale or snorkel with the interactive dusky dolphin at Kaikoura
  • Marvel at the Franz Josef glacier from a helicopter before landing on it for a hike
  • Combine local heritage with dramatic landscapes on a 4WD safari at Lake Wanaka
  • Tackle the iconic Routeburn Track
  • Discover Milford Sound from the land, water and in the air, each with a unique perspective of this UNESCO Heritage natural wonder

Between New Zealand’s two islands, the South boasts of some of the purest natural landscapes, from the country’s highest peaks, majestic glaciers, alpine lakes and rivers and expansive rainforests.

Encounter New Zealand’s wildlife in Kaikoura, where you have the option to swim with dolphins or try spotting Giant Sperm Whales. Then head into the heart of the Southern Alps at Arthur’s Pass National Park, with a variety of activities available among the splendid alpine landscape. Journey down the rugged west coast and getting upclose with the iconic glaciers of the region. Next, you enter Otago, South Island’s most popular region, to experience the lakes of Wanaka, the UNESCO listed Milford Sound by land, boat and air, as well as to get your adrenaline pumping at the adventure capital of Queenstown.

From

HKD 31,780 Per Person

11 Days 10 Nights

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01 Arrival in Christchurch

Arrival in Christchurch
Christchurch
Nil

Upon arrival in Christchurch, collect your rental vehicle and drive to your hotel (approx. 10km, 15min). The rest of the day is free to recover from your journey and to explore the city.

Day 02 Christchurch / Kaikoura

Christchurch / Kaikoura
Kaikoura
Breakfast included (Dinner is included at Hapuku Lodge and Tree Houses)

After breakfast, drive up to Kaikoura (approx. 180km, 2.5hrs drive). Here, you will have a choice of one nature’s most marvellous experiences:

Option 1: Swim with Dolphins Encounter (3.5hrs)

Join a small group boat tour that offers up close and intimate experiences with wild dusky dolphins in their natural environment. These are known as some of the most interactive dolphin species and you will have the opportunity to snorkel with a pod. Boats usually take a maximum of 16 swimmers, with a maximum of 25 spectators.

Option 2: VIP Whale Watching Experience (3hrs)

Embark on an exciting up-close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator, the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment, with the opportunity to spot other whale and dolphin species that migrate along the coast. You will be seated in the VIP section alongside with the captain, with just 12 passengers and large windows to maximize views.

Day 03 Kaikoura / Arthur's Pass

Kaikoura / Arthur's Pass
Arthur's Pass
Breakfast and dinner included

Today, you will drive Arthur’s Pass with some scenic stops (approx. 300km, 4hrs). You will first traverse the expansive Canterbury Plains, stretching from north to south as far as the eye can see. The road slowly begins to wind its way up into the foothills of the Southern Alps. The scenery changes constantly as you drive around a hill, over a mountain pass, across a river, past lakes, ski fields and unique geological features. Arrive in Arthur’s Pass – nestled in alpine grandeur! This afternoon, check into your lodge and take a hiking or walking trail.

Day 04 Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass
Arthur's Pass
Breakfast and dinner included

A myriad of nature activities await in Arthur’s Pass National Park. Your lodge includes two complimentary from discovering a high country sheep farm, to a relaxing walk through the surrounding forests and a stargazing experience to learn about constellations, satellites and the planets – the clean air and lack of light pollution makes for brilliant clear skies. Alternatively, you could join in other paid activities that take you further on a challenging hike into a glacial basin with splendid mountain panoramas, a kayaking expedition in a mountain lake or a drive along the waterfalls and cascades of the national park.

Day 05 Arthur's Pass / Franz Josef

Arthur's Pass / Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Breakfast included

Today you will travel from Arthur’s Pass to the glaciers of the west coast (approx. 250km, 3hr 15min). Visit the excellent information centre where you get a view of the glacier, and settle into your alpine accommodation for the evening.

Day 06 Franz Josef

Franz Josef
Franz Josef
Breakfast included

Glacier Heli Hike – Join-in Basis (4hrs)

This unique combination of an exhilarating helicopter ride, jaw-dropping scenery and a 2.5hrs hike through spectacular glacier features makes this a highlight of many guests in South Island.

Soar through the air in a helicopter over jaw dropping landscapes, taking in the full panoramic majesty of Ka Roimata o Hine Hukatere. You will land high up on the main ice fall of the glacier, where your guide will help you make the final preparations for your adventure. Slide through narrow crevasses, navigate between staggering ice towers and squeeze through ice caves. As the fastest commercially guided glacier in the world, Franz Josef Glacier’s features are constantly changing, and if you are lucky, you could see the glacier calving around you.

In the afternoon, take it easy, perhaps enjoy a stroll around a nearby kettle lake created by retreating glaciers long ago, but now rimmed by lush forest.

Note: from 8 years and up, and moderate fitness/agility is required.

Day 07 Franz Josef / Wanaka

Franz Josef / Wanaka
Wanaka
Breakfast included

After breakfast, drive to Wanaka (approx. 285km, 3hrs 50min). You will drive through the Haast Pass, traversing dense rainforests that soon give way to the mountains of Mt Aspiring National Park as you enter the Otago region to the serene Lake Wanaka where you will spend a night.

Day 08 Wanaka / Queenstown

Wanaka / Queenstown
Queenstown
Breakfast included

Wild Hills 4WD Safari – Join-in Basis (4hrs)

Experience the rugged beauty and solitude of the spectacular high country, with this exclusive 4WD journey exploring an historic New Zealand sheep, cattle and deer farm. Explore historic ruins of pioneering European settler cottages, enjoy pure mountain air and breathtaking scenery as you take a stroll in alpine meadows. This journey offers a unique insight into Wanaka’s rich history, heritage and modern-day farming life.

In the afternoon, drive down to Queenstown on the shores of lovely Lake Wakatipu (approx. 70km, 1hr). This is New Zealand’s premier adventure centre, with a broad range of activities available from jetboating, white-water rafting, sky diving, four wheel drive adventures, horse-trekking, quad biking, bungy jumping or more leisurely pursuits such as walking, fishing and wine trails.

We have included a Shotover Jet experience – a thrilling jet boat ride through the scenic Shotover River Canyon. (approx. 1.5hrs, suitable for all fitness levels).

Day 09 Queenstown

Queenstown
Queenstown
Breakfast & lunch included

Routeburn Track Private Guided Walk (9hrs)

This great walk, the Routeburn Track, in Mount Aspiring National Park starts with a gradual climb through a 130 million-year-old magical world of ferns, mosses, lichens and beech forest. Enjoy lunch surrounded by the grandeur of alpine meadows, meandering streams and majestic snow-capped mountains. On your return explore the old forgotten paths of the Maori as you travel along the old Greenstone trails, finding new enchantment around each corner, where native birds abound.

Day 10 Queenstown

Queenstown
Queenstown
Breakfast & lunch included

Milford Sound Drive/Cruise/Fly Adventure – Join-in Basis (9hrs)

Start the tour off with a hotel pick up from your Queenstown accommodation and travel in comfort in a premium Mercedes van equipped with complimentary water, Wi-Fi and videos onboard, and panoramic windows on board so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. This small group tour stays away from the big crowds and allows additional stop offs at scenic locations the buses don’t visit.

You will board a scenic boat cruise on the fjord and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch.

Finish your day to Milford Sound with an unforgettable scenic flight (approx. 40min, using a fixed wing aircraft) back to Queenstown. What a truly awe-inspiring way to complete your trip with a view that is not possibly from land.

Day 11 Depart Queenstown

Depart Queenstown
Nil
Breakfast included

Drive to Queenstown Airport and return your rental car, before catching your departure flight.

Hotels & Tour Price

Category 1

Indicative cost per person (HKD)

Minimum 2 Pax HK$ 36,280
Minimum 4 Pax HK$ 31,780
Single Supplement HK$ 15,480

Rydge Latimer Hotel • The White Morph • Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass • Westwood Lodge • Edgewater Wanaka • The Rees Hotel

Christchurch

Christchurch

Rydges Latimer Hotel (Superior Room)

Offering views over lush Latimer Square, this modern, casual hotel is a short walk into the city centre. Stylish rooms offer refuge after a long flight or a day of exploration, or upgrade to one of the penthouse suites on the 5th floor for the full works – balconies with views to the Southern Alps, and your own living space and kitchen. (Opened: 2013; Rooms: 175)

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Kaikoura

Kaikoura

The White Morph (Premium Room)

Located on the waterfront along The Esplanade in Kaikoura and only a short walk from the township, this contemporary motel offers a range of comfortable studios and apartments, some overlooking the promenade and the ocean. (Renovated: 2011; Rooms: 31)

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Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass (Mountain View Room)

Sitting on a 4000-acre farm & nature reserve surrounded by spectacular Arthur's Pass National Park is this wilderness lodge, featuring stylish accommodation, excellent food and a mix of complimentary and paid nature adventures to create the ultimate wild escape away from the crowds and into the vast natural landscape of Arthur’s Pass National Park. (Renovated: 2012; Rooms: 53)

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Franz Josef

Franz Josef

Westwood Lodge (Main House Suite)

A superb bed & breakfast in the heart of New Zealand’s World Heritage Westland National Park, ideal for exploring Franz Josef Glacier. Incorporating a lot of natural elements, the spacious open-plan suites have a patio that open into a private courtyard. (Renovated: 2006; Rooms: 9)

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Wanaka

Wanaka

Edgewater Wanaka (Lake View Room)

Right on the shores of Lake Wanaka, the hotel complex comprise of contemporary hotel rooms, as well as 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for families or those wanting more space, some with spectacular lake view. Facilities include a spa, tennis courts and a putting green, as well as a variety of outdoor activities in Mount Aspiring National Park. (Renovated: 2005; Rooms: 104)

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Queenstown

Queenstown

The Rees Hotel (Lake View Room)

A luxury lakeside hotel with its own private beach and wharf just on the outskirts of Queenstown, with complimentary shuttles into the city. All rooms have a balcony, including 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, villas and residences – many which offer spectacular views of Lake Wakatipu and of the Remarkable Ranges. (Opened: 2007; Rooms: 150)

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Category 2

Indicative cost per peson (HKD)

Minimum 2 Pax HK$ 41,680
Minimum 4 Pax HK$ 37,180
Single Supplement HK$ 20,580

The George Christchurch • Hapuku Lodge + Tree House • Wilderness Lodge Arthur’s Pass • Westwood Lodge • Edgewater Wanaka • Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa

Christchurch

Christchurch

The George Christchurch (Superior Room)

Situated in a peaceful spot overlooking the Avon River and Hagley Park, this boutique hotel exudes an elegant, chic atmosphere which is relaxing at the same time, dotted with works of art by some of New Zealand’s finest contemporary artists. Be sure to check out the innovative cuisine its signature restaurant, Pescatore. (Renovated: 2012; Rooms: 53)

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Kaikoura

Kaikoura

Hapuku Lodge + Tree Houses (Lodge Room)

A contemporary country hotel located on a deer breeding farm just north of Kaikoura, with luxurious lodge rooms and treehouses in an idyllic setting where guests can relax against the picturesque backdrop of the Kaikoura ranges. (Renovated: 2009; Rooms: 12)

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Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass

Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass (Mountain View Room)

Sitting on a 4000-acre farm & nature reserve surrounded by spectacular Arthur's Pass National Park is this wilderness lodge, featuring stylish accommodation, excellent food and a mix of complimentary and paid nature adventures to create the ultimate wild escape away from the crowds and into the vast natural landscape of Arthur’s Pass National Park. (Renovated: 2012; Rooms: 53)

View More
Franz Josef

Franz Josef

Westwood Lodge (Main House Suite)

A superb bed & breakfast in the heart of New Zealand’s World Heritage Westland National Park, ideal for exploring Franz Josef Glacier. Incorporating a lot of natural elements, the spacious open-plan suites have a patio that open into a private courtyard. (Renovated: 2006; Rooms: 9)

View More
Wanaka

Wanaka

Edgewater Wanaka (Lake View Room)

Right on the shores of Lake Wanaka, the hotel complex comprise of contemporary hotel rooms, as well as 1- and 2-bedroom apartments for families or those wanting more space, some with spectacular lake view. Facilities include a spa, tennis courts and a putting green, as well as a variety of outdoor activities in Mount Aspiring National Park. (Renovated: 2005; Rooms: 104)

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Queenstown

Queenstown

Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa (Luxury Room)

Offering a refined 5-star experience in the heart of the city, just steps from Lake Wakatipu and close to the restaurants. Rooms and suites offer haut design incorporating sophisticated and refined aesthetics with luxurious materials, including the signature Sofitel MyBed and a double spa bath in every room. (Renovated: 2010; Rooms: 82)

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COST INCLUDES:

  • 10 nights’ accommodation on twin sharing basis in hotels as stated on bed & breakfast basis
  • Dinners included at Arthur’s Pass and Hapuku Lodge + Tree House
  • Tours and admission fees as per itinerary on Join-In Basis unless otherwise stated
    • Swim with Dolphins Encounter (3.5hrs) OR VIP Whale Watching Experience (3hrs)
    • Glacier Heli Hike (4hrs)
    • Wild Hills 4WD Safari (4hrs)
    • Routeburn Track Guided Walk (9hrs) – Private
    • Milford Sound Drive / Cruise / Fly Adventure (9hrs)
    • Shotover Jet Experience (1.5hrs)
  • Car Rental for 11 days
    • based on full size sedan (Toyota Camry Auto or similar for 2 persons, OR
    • based on intermediate SUV (Nissan X-Trail Auto or similar) for 4 persons
  • Local taxes and service charges.

COST EXCLUDES:

  • International airfares
  • Visa
  • Meals unless otherwise specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses e.g. laundry, bar, spa services
  • Phone and internet charges

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